A stable atmospheric-pressure plasma for extreme-temperature synthesis

Hua Xie, Ning Liu, Qian Zhang, Hongtao Zhong, Liqun Guo, Xinpeng Zhao, Daozheng Li, Shufeng Liu, Zhennan Huang, Aditya Dilip Lele, Alexandra H. Brozena, Xizheng Wang, Keqi Song, Sophia Chen, Yan Yao, Miaofang Chi, Wei Xiong, Jiancun Rao, Minhua Zhao, Mikhail N. ShneiderJian Luo, Ji Cheng Zhao, Yiguang Ju, Liangbing Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plasmas can generate ultra-high-temperature reactive environments that can be used for the synthesis and processing of a wide range of materials 1,2. However, the limited volume, instability and non-uniformity of plasmas have made it challenging to scalably manufacture bulk, high-temperature materials 3–8. Here we present a plasma set-up consisting of a pair of carbon-fibre-tip-enhanced electrodes that enable the generation of a uniform, ultra-high temperature and stable plasma (up to 8,000 K) at atmospheric pressure using a combination of vertically oriented long and short carbon fibres. The long carbon fibres initiate the plasma by micro-spark discharge at a low breakdown voltage, whereas the short carbon fibres coalesce the discharge into a volumetric and stable ultra-high-temperature plasma. As a proof of concept, we used this process to synthesize various extreme materials in seconds, including ultra-high-temperature ceramics (for example, hafnium carbonitride) and refractory metal alloys. Moreover, the carbon-fibre electrodes are highly flexible and can be shaped for various syntheses. This simple and practical plasma technology may help overcome the challenges in high-temperature synthesis and enable large-scale electrified plasma manufacturing powered by renewable electricity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-971
Number of pages8
JournalNature
Volume623
Issue number7989
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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